Historically, My 3 year old has been a bit of a gift in the old sleep department. She's almost always zonked out by 7pm and is up to begin a new day about 12 hours later. Not that she doesn't attempt to get into bed with me at some point between these two posts, often leaving me with broken sleep or, worse, with a switched on brain that mulls over everything from "would that work as a plot line for a blog/book/project/poem" to "I wonder whether Lady Sov's cockiness will endear us to her even more or whether it will be the reason for her demise and early eviction?" Still, no-one's perfect.
We were doing exceptionally well, with her rarely getting up even once during the whole night. That was until our trip to London, when we shared a bed at my Nan's for a couple of nights and she got used to me being there, by her side. It is special to feel the warm arms of your very own little person, the one your body, mind and energy has nurtured and is still nurturing, wrap around your neck and breath sweetness onto your cheek. That is until they decide that they'd like to lay horizontally across the bed or that your back/side/chest/stomach would made an excellent footrest. Then, I don't know about you, but I cannot sleep, no matter how exhausted I am and, as an older first-time mum, that's infinitely. Infinitely Exhausted.
I have no idea how she managed to persuade me but, for the past three or four weeks, I've been staying with her till she drops off. Actually, I do know - she caught me at a weak moment one evening when all I really wanted was to have a post-story time doze and so I snuggled up next to her and we visited the Land of Nod together. Now she won't let me go and her dropping off time has been getting later and later.
"Tonight," I thought. "This stops!"
I read her two bedtime stories, fought with her to let me brush her teeth (she won) and then explained that her cousin J. doesn't sleep with his mummy (though I think he probably does) and neither did her friend A. Did she know why?
"Yes, Mummy, because theys big boys and girl." And so was she, I assured her, and she didn't need her Mummy either.
"No. I want to keep you, Mummy." Bless.
"Mummy is just in the kitchen. I love you and I'll see you in the morning."
Then the house turned into a scene from SuperNanny. No, it was worse than that: the house turned into a scene from SuperNanny USA. She kicked off the covers, she screamed so that I thought the neighbours might come round, she demanded to sleep with her toothbrush (fine! Whatever, Wierdo!), she threw her toothbrush across the room, she didn't want Fairy, she wanted to sleep in my bed, she kicked her covers off again, she wanted her covers 'back in a square', she wanted her Incredible Hulk Burger King toy, she didn't want her Incredible Hulk Burger King Toy, she wanted Fairy, she went to sleep. The whole process seemed as laborious as digging a five foot hole then filling it in again but, in fact, from the time I turned off her light to the time the screaming and demands stopped, just 10 minutes had passed.
Done! Now all I have to do is put her back in her own bed at 2am when she creeps into mine and when I'd give absolutely anything for a quiet life. And for some sleep!